Everybody’s a punter on Irish Day at the Races at Klampenborg Racecourse, and most tap into their inner Irish – even if they don’t have any traceable DNA. As well as the racing, you can expect snappy Irish dancing from the Dark Green School of Irish Dancing, stirring tunes from the Gordon Pipes and Drums Marching Band, and traditional Irish music. And apparently there will even be some river dancing.
All this may move you to putting a few kroner on a hunch, or perhaps you’re the type to study up in advance, and have a filly’s or stallion’s bloodline history in mind, and a carefully constructed chart in your back pocket. Just like everyone finds a little bit of Irish ancestry on St Patrick’s Day, you will undoubtedly find your good-to-go-green betting proclivity when the excitement of the wagering starts, and you see some of the great-looking specimens parading before you. The gates open at 12:30, and there will be eight horse races, including the Danish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Trials – important prep races for young horses like these three-year-olds.
Children are most welcome, and activities designed especially for them are balloon blowing, pony riding, face painting, and a playground. For adults, count on the Irish Rover Pub, which will take over Hojen, the racecourse bar. It opens at 2pm with hot and cold food, drinks, Irish coffee, Guiness, Magners Irish Cider and a full range of other beers on draft. They need to be stocked given that the average crowd tends to be 6,000.
For what seems like years now, the Rover has been offering a prize of two tickets to Dublin for the Best Ladies Hat. The judge of all that will be no less than the Irish ambassador, Brendan Scallon. Let’s call it a Celtic (Danish) answer to the traditional British Ascot Day. And a special Irish radio sportscaster originally from Ireland, Annette Lennon, will be calling the races.
If you anticipate any difficulty finding your way to the course, the Irish Rover’s free coach will leave the pub at 12.30 and return after the last race (after such events, it’s always a good idea to have a designated driver). And if you’re a hearty type who doesn’t like to ‘go dry’ to sporting events, a full-Irish breakfast is available before embarking. You can make reservations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who don’t like wagering, there are plenty of other reasons to go. The members of the Danish Irish Society are setting up camp near the track straight down from the entrance – an excellent chance to find out more about their activities. And the greenery will still be grand, for the event is situated in north Copenhagen, near the Royal Deer Park. Historians can enjoy ‘Den Kongelise Tribune’, a beautiful old pavilion, transported piece by piece after the World Fair in Paris in 1900.
Irish Day at the Races
Klampenborg Galopbane, Traverbanevej 10, 2920 Charlottenlund;
Opens Sat 12:30, first race 14:40, final race 16:45, closes 17:15;
Adults 50kr, concessions 20kr, under-18s free adm, season card 500kr (250kr concessions);
From Klampenborg Station take the 388 bus bound for Lyngby station